5 years ago

Structure of transmembrane helix 8 and possible membrane defects in CFTR

P., V., Gu, Corradi, Vergani, D. P., R.-X., Tieleman
The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an ion channel that regulates the flow of anions across epithelia. Mutations in CFTR cause cystic fibrosis. CFTR belongs to the ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily, and gating is controlled by phosphorylation and ATP binding and hydrolysis. Recent ATP-free and ATP-bound structures of zebrafish CFTR revealed an unwound segment of transmembrane helix (TM) 8, which appears to be a unique feature of CFTR not present in other ABC transporter structures. Here, by means of 1 s long molecular dynamics simulations, we investigate the interactions formed by this TM8 segment with nearby helices, in both ATP-free and ATP-bound states. We highlight the structural role of TM8 in maintaining the functional architecture of the pore and we describe a distinct membrane defect that is found near TM8 only in the ATP-free state. The results of the MD simulations are discussed in the context of the gating mechanism of CFTR.

Publisher URL: http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/218792v1

DOI: 10.1101/218792

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